No-Bake Mini Healthy Bites: Gluten-Free and Passover

I love to experiment with “No-Bake” cookie recipes, especially those that are gluten-free, Paleo Diet or perfect for Passover which starts this week. I was excited to make this recipe for No-Bake Mini Energy Bites which I made and tweaked from a recipe I saw on the blog, “Gimme some Oven”.  Her recipe is great, but if you want a Passover or gluten-free version, try grinding your favorite nuts and omitting the oatmeal. These are incredible, and I honestly could not keep my hands out of the container. My 3 kids had absolutely no idea there was flaxseed in them. Feel free to use almond butter instead of peanut butter and any of your favorite nuts.

Gluten Free: Grain-Free Granola

One of my food weaknesses is definitely granola so I thought I would develop a recipe for a Grain-Free Granola for all of those who can’t have grains, are gluten-free, are following the Paleo Diet or are watching their carbohydrate intake. This recipe for Grain-Free Granola is super easy to make, and it’s full of my favorite seeds and nuts. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand as all of the nuts and seeds are easily interchangeable. This granola makes a great breakfast idea stirred into nonfat Greek Yogurt or with almond milk. It also makes a great afternoon snack, a healthy sweet to put in your children’s lunch, or a wonderful dinnertime dessert served with fruit.

No Bake Chocolate-Peanut Flaxseed Butter Bars

No Bake recipes bar cookie recipes are some of my favorite cookie/bar types of desserts, especially this time of year when I’m so busy. I quickly mixed up these up  one afternoon, and my kids told me these were a “home run” (well that was what the boys said). My daughter loved them even though she isn’t a coconut fan. These No Bake Chocolate Peanut Bars call for ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. These make a great afternoon snack, dessert (with milk) and an easy homemade gift for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Fresh Taste of Summer: Cantaloupe-Coconut Smoothie

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My last television segment on NBC 13 “Daytime Alabama” was such a hit, and the food topic was smoothies. Smoothies are wonderful to prepare for dessert, afternoon snack or breakfast for kids and adults. This is the best time of year to make them when fruits are so vibrant. Cantaloupe-Coconut Smoothie combines some of my favorites: cantaloupe, coconut and pineapple. My kids are huge smoothie fans, and every time I turn around the blender is out on the counter. I can’t wash it fast enough. Enjoy this recipe just in time for ripe cantaloupes. To choose a ripe cantaloupe, it should smell sweet, have an even coloring and be heavy for its size. If you tap on it, it will sound hollow if it’s ripe.

Low Calorie, Low-Fat Layered Cookie Bars: Hello Dolly Bars

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My college friend, Kelli, was the first young person I met who really knew how to cook. Her mom was the best cook that I remember. I loved to go to her house in Nashville during breaks and holidays because she was a such a great hostess, and this is the type of thing, as a teenager, I never forgot. She always sent us home with “Hello Dolly” cookies, which I never heard of until then. Now, these cookies are a staple at my house, and my kids love them too. These are great to make during the summertime while the kids are out of school. They’re so easy, even the kids can join in. Using smaller amounts of chocolate and butterscotch, fat-free sweetened condensed milk and water with the butter cuts down on the calories and fat.  These are 123 calories per serving and 4.4 grams of fat so enjoy.